There is much the homeowner can do to keep their carpet looking like new, but eventually there comes a time when professional carpet cleaning is in order. Carpet cleaners and manufacturers both advise that this should be done annually. However, much depends on your lifestyle. A home where pets and children live is likely to have more spills and dirt on the carpet than one where only one or two adults live, especially if they spend most of their time at work.
Once you’ve made the decision to have your carpets professionally cleaned, it is essential to follow a few tips in order to ensure they don’t get dirty again within a few days. It’s important to follow the advice of the cleaner in caring for your carpets. Here are some general tips that will help the carpet to stay cleaner.
- Never walk on a damp carpet as the wet fibres will clean all the dirt and oil off your shoes or feet and get dirtier in the process.
- If the cleaner gives you plastic bootees to wear for when you need to walk on the damp carpet, be sure to use them, otherwise clean white socks may help protect it.
- If using plastic bootees or bags, be very careful stepping off the carpet as they could be slippery.
- Keep people off the damp carpet for 24 hours to allow maximum time for drying.
- Don’t remove the plastic of foam protectors from under the legs of your furniture for 24-48 hours.
- Leave a fan on and the windows open after the cleaner has finished to help the carpet dry thoroughly.
- If your carpet is in a walkway and there is no other way in, lay white towels down for people to walk on. Or take the kids out for the evening so they won’t have to walk on it.
- Taking shoes off at the door will help keep the carpet clean to some extent. However, you have to remember that feet sweat and so it is even better if you provide indoor shoes, socks or slippers for the family to wear on the carpet.
- Ask the professional cleaners if they can treat the carpet with a substance that will help to protect it from absorbing future spills.
- Use mats at exits and train children to wipe their feet/shoes before coming in.
- Vacuum the carpet weekly in the future to reduce soil and dirt build-up.
If possible, hire a cleaner that uses a truck mounted cleaning unit as this has much better suction for removing dirty moisture from the carpet. Unfortunately, if you live in a high-rise unit this may not be possible. It is also a good idea to make sure the cleaner uses environmentally friendly cleaning products on your carpet.